Asda acquires supplier in Turkey to improve quality

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ASDA’S George clothing arm has bought a division of one of its long-term suppliers based in Turkey, in a bid to improve quality while reducing costs.

Leeds-based Asda has bought the sourcing division of GAAT, which has built up an exclusive relationship with George over the past 12 years.

The Istanbul business is George’s largest supplier and works with 80 manufacturers to manage clothing production in Turkey, Sri Lanka and Egypt.

George at Asda has bought the operation from the Turkmen Group, one of the leading textile companies in Turkey.

The cost of the purchase has not been revealed.

Andrew Moore, executive managing director of George at Asda, said: “This is a natural and exciting next step for the business and will help George become even more responsive in delivering style, quality and value as we expand here in the UK and elsewhere around the world.

“By bringing the GAAT team into the George, Asda and wider Wal-Mart family, it enables us to underpin our quality, value and style credentials, extending our sourcing capabilities to satisfy supply demands from Wal-Mart stores across the world, as we strive to become even more responsive to our customers.”

Asda said that at a time when customers are more focused on value than ever, the acquisition will enable George to continue to develop its world class supply operation.

The acquisition reflects similar moves by Asda elsewhere in its business to find improve quality at a lower cost.

In 2009, it acquired International Produce (IPL), which now sources fruit and grocery items for the UK business as well as other countries where US parent company Wal-Mart trades.

In a separate statement yesterday, Asda said its colleagues have saved more than half a billion pounds since a share ownership programme was launched 30 years ago.

Under the savings scheme, workers set aside between £5 and £250 a month for a three-year period, at the end of which they receive a tax-free bonus and a chance to buy discounted shares in parent firm Wal-Mart.

Around 25,000 employees have joined the scheme every year, saving an average of £20 a month.

Hayley Tatum, Asda’s people director, said: “Our in-store and depot colleagues work extremely hard, day in, day out, to serve the 18 million customers that come through our doors each week. The ShareSave scheme is just one of the ways we want to thank them for their efforts.”